No man wants to go to war and no government wants war but there aremany different circumstances that lead to the action of war. Thoseinvolved in war will have political and personal views towards it. TheFirst World War was greeted with great enthusiasm and patriotism;however it was the war in which millions died compared to the warsafter. In the past 200 years warfare has changed and with this changethe ideas on war have changed too.

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Wilfred Owen, Rudyard Kipling and David Roberts are well known warpoets. Using a selection of their poems we hope to analyze the twoconflicting views on war.

To understand what influenced the poets we need to get an idea oftheir social and historical background.

The poet Rudyard Kipling was an ex army official so his poems on warcan be trusted. However during Kipling’s war days war was not fullymechanized so Kipling cannot really describe the horror of WW1.

In his poem ‘For All We Have and Are’ Rudyard Kipling uses words andphrases like “For all our children’s fate” to emphasize the need forwar, Saying if you are not going to fight for yourself than fight foryour children.

He than justifies going to war by saying “a crazed and driven foe”. Ithink by this he means that our foe is mentally disturbed we have tostop him for his own and others benefit. He than says “The Hun is atthe gate” Meaning that the Germans are coming. If we don’t go out andmeet them they will attack us. He also curses the Germans by callingthem Huns.

The Huns were originally an ancient tribe who ravaged and plunderedevery where they went. By calling the Germans, Huns Rudyard Kiplingsuggests that they are the same and present a danger to all so we hav…

… the stupidity of the war and uses sarcasticphrases such as ‘It must take guts to drop those bombs on defencelesspeople who had no chance’ to emphasize the unfairness of the war.Roberts also says ‘Your boys didn’t have to maim and kill or break thehearts of other mothers’ by this statement I think he means that Iknow your depressed about the loss of your sons but think of the othermothers whose hearts your sons broke by killing people who like themwere just following orders.

In this poem I feel David Roberts challenges the government’s decisionto go to war against Iraq by calling this war the ‘shamefullest ofwars’ and by highlighting the depression and death it has alreadycaused.

If you look at the differences between the 3 poems described you willfind that as time want on and war got uglier you started hearing moreof the truth about war.


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